How to deal with LOUD NEIGHBORS?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by goodtimes5, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. goodtimes5 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    My building faces another building, and the people in the building next to mine love to yell obscenities when they play computer games at 1-3am in the night. I have repeatedly stepped outside and asked them to lower their voices because, after all, it is 1-3am. Their responses have been minimal.

    They cannot afford full curtains, so I can see everything they are doing inside their apartment. They leave one of their windows wide open, and they are apparently too cheap to replace the other window as there is no actual window but just a space for one. I can hear everything. When I asked them to quiet down, I know they heard me because they were dead silent and avoided looking out the window at me. I stared them down, and eventually one of them came to the window and told me, "You should move." He then walked away. They resumed gaming and shouting obscenities at their virtual enemies.

    I do not think going to the police will be effective. When they hear or realize the police have arrived, they will simply quiet down and act like nothing happened. I also cannot get hold of their landlord because I don't know who or where he is.

    What should I do? I was thinking of buying mice and crickets from the pet store and unleashing them into their rooms through their wide-open windows.

    I'm in Berkeley, CA if anyone has any personal experience with the police here.
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    While the mice and crickets sound like a good idea, it's not. Eventually noise complaints add-up. I'm pretty sure that there is someway to figure out how is listed as the landlord via official records.
  3. rowsdower macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    Just call the police a few times. The mice and crickets might make you feel better, but they won't associate them with the noise and will keep doing it.
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    1) Talk to other tenants in THEIR building. The are the ones to lodge ac complaint to their building's landlord.
    2) Video record with sound. When you call in complaint to police you can show them the tape.
    3) Doesn't sound like the nicest of neighborhood - ? is moving not an option
    4) I love when people can afford videogames, yet they can't afford a sheet hung up as a curtain. As for a window, that is their landlord's resposibility. However, they would probably just keep and intact window open.
  5. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    You should be able to find the landlord through an assessors office or through your local council. The other key, I would imagine, is to have documentary evidence (i.e. video, corroborating accounts from other neighbors) to give to police or whoever. DON'T put animals in through their window, don't get abusive, don't make threats of physical violence. Those sort of things could get you in trouble
  6. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Apr 6, 2005
  7. goodtimes5 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    No, moving is not possible. This will be my last year in the apartment until school ends, but that is not til next year.

    I will heed the advice and hold off on the revenge and simply take down evidence. I suppose if I ever do call the police, I can show them the video and documentation if the neighbors suddenly quiet down with an officer present.
  8. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    I would say any and all pranks or retaliation is off limits since you have verbally jousted and made eye contact with the said offenders. If anything happens they will likely suspect you and it's just not worth dealing with morons who often retaliate in damaging and expensive ways. Just call the police every time. Getting video evidence is a good idea too. If the complaints add up then landlord action will likely result.

    Also, the easiest way to get a hold of the landlord is probably to find the for rent signs or fliers in or around the building. They will have a phone number on them. If you call the landlord and tell them what is going on and that you intend to call the police every time then he/she will definitely take action because police involvement is bad for the property.
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I would record call the police and record it until they show up. it may take the cops an hour or 2 to even show up since it is a low priority and will get there when they get the chance.
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    It would help for you to look up what the noise bylaws are in your area. Then you can offer evidence that they were breaking this law whenever you call the cops (or city bylaw officers?)
  11. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

    Mar 15, 2007
    Denton, TX
    I had some extremely loud neighbors once. I would call the landlord and if the noise continued that night I would call the police. The police would show up and the landlord would get complaint from EVERYONE in the complex about how it made the place look with the police showing up regularly. The noise didn't go away so I started calling the police for everything thing I could, mostly parking/noise violations as well as seeing their teenagers drinking.

    The killer of the whole situation was that they were well aware of how noisy they were but they didn't care. Sometimes their noise would wake up our very colic-stricken newborn. We did finally got then evicted, but it took a pretty spectacular event.

    The baby was at her grandparents and we were enjoying a nice quiet evening at home. We had the curtains pulled most of the way so that people passing couldn't see in. Some adult activities were starting up when I glanced at the back door and saw a face watching us.

    I immediately freaked and jumped up yelling at the person to go away, he didn't. I then pulled the security stick out from the sliding glass door and opened the door and little and continued to yell at the guy to go away, he just stood there and looked confused.

    I then threw the door all the way open and jabbed the guy in the face with the stick, that got his attention. He took a few steps back and he started to come back to reality. I stepped forward and took a full "batter up" swing at him and hit him in his upper arm, he started to run. I chased him halfway across the apartment complex swing and yelling at him, I hit him a few more times before I decided that continuing the chase was a bad idea. I then rushed back to the apartment as soon as I could so I could put some clothes on, I was completely naked.

    When I got back my girlfriend was on the phone with the police. I threw some jeans on and knocked on the neighbors door to alert them of the creepy guy looking in the windows. They have teenage daughters so I wanted them to know. When I described the guy to the father I learned that the peeper was a boyfriend of one of the daughters. I immediately pounded on the landlords door and explained to him the situation, the complex owner happened to be staying in a vacant unit was also alerted to the situation.

    The next day they were served with an eviction notice.

    The boyfriend was "never found" so we couldn't file charges. :rolleyes:
  12. fireshot91 macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2008
    Northern VA
    I feel for ya right about now.

    I have a KILLER Migraine ( head thumps every time my heart beats), so much as to I want to just fall asleep, but I can't, and there are these 3-4 "kids" (I put it in quotes as I'm 15, so they'd be about 13-14 years old) skateboarding outside. They have a grind rail set up, and every time one of them comes off the grind rail, and hits the ground, it makes a loud thumping noise that I can hear basically anywhere in my house.

    I'm also catching a fever....and all I can think about doing right now is sleep, but I have a TON of homework to catch up on that's due that's not happening.
  13. chrysrobyn macrumors member

    May 9, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Boy, Lumberman tells a great story...

    Take down the non-emergency Police number (or the Sheriff if you're outside city limits). Call them up and find out what criteria they have for noise complaints. Walk around the other building and make 100% sure you know the other room number. Spend 5 minutes with a word processor to document what it takes to make a noise complaint, and mention "for example" the room number of the noisy people -- make a dozen copies and share it with your and their neighbors. One person is unlikely to make a difference with an indifferent police force, but several will get the job done. Face it, armed with that much information, if you're STILL the only one who calls it in, you really are the one who doesn't belong there.

    My neighbor three doors down decided to power wash his running gas lawn mower at 11pm while my young kids were going through a "light sleeper" phase. They couldn't sleep. I went down to explain my situation and asked him, politely mind you, to please stop and do it during the day. My neighbor explained that this was the only time he could do it. I said that I thought it was a reasonable request, restated my situation and asked him to be a nice neighbor. He said restated his stance. I offered to allow the Sheriff's office to mediate, and he thought that was a good idea. 3 minutes later -- I timed it -- the Sheriff's deputy came down and explained that he could turn the equipment off or get a ticket for the washer and another for the lawn mower. Can't say I've heard more than a few words at a time from him since, or the lawn mower other than 9am-noon.
  14. ski2moro macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2007
    What is your ultimate goal in this situation? Do you want these people to move out or just shut up after midnight? Do you want revenge? Do you just want to prove that you are right?

    Were these people ever quiet? What changed?

    If these guys are thugs, you might put yourself at risk by making yourself known as the complainer. Enlisting your neighbors in a multiple complaint is a good idea.

    Sometimes it is just easier to move than to try and prove a point.

    If you ever need to break a lease, you can cite "breach of contract" with your property owner. Implied in every apartment lease is the provision of your quiet enjoyment of the premises. Any attorney can write a letter to that effect.

    If you want to stay and fight for your rights, it is possible that your landlord knows the owner of the adjacent property. Enlist his help.

    Definitely call the police. Ask for their help in contacting the owner, landlord, or manager of the other building. Video and photos can't hurt your complaint.

    Contact the local building inspector and report the missing window. It may be a violation of building code.

    For your own sanity in the meantime, get a waterfall, fountain, a high speed fan, or other white noise generator. Ask your landlord for a window unit air conditioner.

    Chrysrobyn makes two good points determining the noise ordinance laws ahead of time and about enlisting your neighbors with written guidelines.

    Good luck.
  15. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    My uncle lives in a college town and the house next to him is a rental property. He kept trying to ask them to be quiet late at night but nothing worked. Finally, one morning he rang their doorbell at 6AM and kept ringing it until they answered. He said "Hi, I live next door, and this is what time I have to get up every day." Noise levels dropped considerably the next night :D
  16. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    OP, you are completely in the right--and there is some good advice here. However, its really hard to get self-centered, arrogant neighbors to be quiet. I'd close your own windows, draw your curtains and experiment with using ear plugs when you sleep while you're getting this sorted out.

    When you next search for an apartment, you have a new criteria to have in mind. Quiet, considerate neighbors. This might mean your next place won't be in a fun, young area but you'll have to decide what's a priority. Good luck, I hope the cops can get them to shut up.
  17. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you can feel a breeze through gaps around the windows, caulk will work wonders for cutting down the sound. If it is a sliding window a putty knife and some insulation (or that sticky foam rope strip) will likely work also.

    Especially if is coming in through a couple areas.

    Always have used this method for people complaining about people complaining that they can hear noise through a wall rather clearly.
  18. gfish31 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    just climb in their windows early in the morning (12pm-2am judging by the hours they keep) and steal their videogame systems. that should shut them up.
  19. goodtimes5 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    Bay Area
    And open a whole new world of trouble for me.
  20. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    i would try filing complaints etc as you do have a right to a quiet home.also trya shotgun. wave it in their face and say stop cussing while playing dem vid gamez.
  21. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Hilarious. Although I think that'll be trouble for OP since he can be pursued for threats.
  22. gfish31 macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    it shouldnt be too hard to get in and out with their games undetected. once u do that, go break em somewhere. they couldnt prove **** and theyd shut the hell up cuz they cant afford new games. theyll prolly just cry and beat off Playstation Mag.
  23. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Could always seal the windows and place a small outdoor speaker outside the window playing Barney's Greatest hits 24/7 loud enough to be heard through an open window, but not real loud.

    Though you may end up in jail for crimes against humanity for playing that music.
  24. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I have a similar rig in mind for the annoying guys who drive their cars with the music on full blast and the subwoofer rocking so hard you feel your own car shaking.

    I have this MP3 player/FM transmitter that appears to be so powerful that you can actually set it to a frequency being used by a radio station, and it will actually replace the radio station's signal with your own. I want to do some testing to see what range this works at, and whether it would be strong enough to affect the car next to you at a stop light.

    If so, then I'm going to prepare a playlist featuring "Spice Girls" or some other favourites, and have it ready and waiting...

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